January 20th, 2012: Lars Eller shoots the puck wide of the Penguins net and around the boards to Subban at the point. Subban takes a shot from the boards that caroms off of Marc-Andre Fleury and to Eller, who instinctively taps it towards the open and scores. This goal was a team effort on a zone play.
January 21st, 2012: Andrei Kostitsyn clears the Canadiens zone and after the Maple Leafs can't control the puck, Eller picks it up and moves up ice. Cody Franson forces Eller wide and behind the net, but after a failed check he gives Eller a bit too much time and space, which allows him to attempt a centering pass to Travis Moen. Moen is tied up but the puck bounces back to Eller, and since Jonas Gustavsson followed the pass, Eller easily puts the puck in the net. This goal was an individual effort off the rush.
February 7th, 2012: Eller wins a puck battle against Chris Kunitz and the puck comes back to Alexei Emelin in the Habs zone. Emelin finds Eller breaking out of the zone and up the ice, and during what looks like a harmless rush, Eller remembers it's Fleury in net and shoots a long bomb wrister from the point with no screen that catches Fleury by surprise and hilariously goes in. Despite how little actual effort went in here, Eller did make a heads up play and this was an individual play off the rush.
February 11th, 2012: With Louis Leblanc applying pressure, Dion Phaneuf makes a bank pass off the boards that goes to Eller. Eller breaks into the Leafs zone and turnstiles Phaneuf before using his speed and reach to go cross crease on James Reimer and deposit the puck behind him. This goal was a beauty of an individual effort off the rush.
March 1st, 2012: Yannick Weber and Chris Campoli exchange the puck at the point on the powerplay before Campoli sends it down low to Scott Gomez on the right side of the Minnesota Wild net. Gomez finds a gap and sends a cross crease pass to Eller who puts it home. This goal was a team effort on a zone play.
March 6th, 2012: Emelin finds Eller at the Flames blueline and he carries it across. After trying to pull a move Eller falls to his knees and nearly loses the puck, but he recovers and somehow lets go of a wicked wrist shot from his knees that beats Miikka Kiprusoff. This goal was an individual effort off the rush.
March 8th, 2012: Ryan White blocks an Oilers shot and Eller recovers the puck and breaks out up the ice. Eller dishes to White as they cross the blue line and White takes a slap shot that is stopped by Nikolai Khabibulin. Eller finds the rebound and from behind the net, bounces it off Khabibulin and into the net. This goal was a team effort off the rush.
March 23rd, 2012: Campoli passes the puck to Tomas Plekanec up high, and Plekanec skates towards the net a bit before finding Eller at the side of the net. Eller's first shot is blocked by Sergei Gonchar, but on his second shot he beats Craig Anderson high and off the back crossbar. The shot is so quick that none of the Senators or Habs players seemed to notice it went in. This goal was a team effort on a zone play.
|Goals||Goals on zone plays||Goals off the rush||Goals on individual plays|
What the heck Eller? Are you Danish or Swiss? You can't get much more neutral than 50% all across the board. All joking aside, what we've seen here is that Eller can do it all himself close to the same level at which Plekanec and Pacioretty can. Whether he can capitalize on chances created by his teammates if he receives better linemates is the real question.
What's perhaps most surprising about Eller's numbers here is that 50% of his goals came on zone plays, despite having poor linemates throughout most of the year and getting next to no powerplay time until March. Eller's high shooting percentage may hint that he capitalized on a few more chances than expected last year based on his shot totals, so we could see a slight decline in goal scoring unless he gets more powerplay time and better, consistent linemates.
Tomorrow we compare all 6 players in the study and look at how they differ and why it matters.